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ESN has launched a working group which will run between 2019-2021 to examine the increasing role of technology in social services. The first meeting of this group took place in Berlin, Germany on 17 – 18 October 2019.


The social services sector has been under financial pressure and been facing increasing needs across Europe. In a time of reducing public budgets and an aging global population, technological innovation can help public social services do more with less resources. Ultimately, the increasing role of technology has the potential to improve the quality of care and lives of people using social services.

The increasing role of technology in social services may take many forms such as the use of artificial intelligence, case management systems, technology driven services, or assistive technology. These technological advancements can help improve social services planning, management and delivery, but it is also important to understand the challenges digitalisation raises, such as the lack of knowledge about new technologies, its cost, and how to ensure privacy and security are protected.

The working group will act as a vehicle for mutual learning between social services and technology providers across Europe on different forms of technology and how they can be used in planning, management, delivery and evaluation of social services. The idea being that services and providers engage in a conversation that addresses challenges and jointly find solutions to overcome those challenges. Each meeting of the working group will focus on a different aspect of digitalisation.

Resources from the meeting are now available:

•    Presentations – Day 1
•    Presentations – Day 2 
•    Photos